Frank Ockenfels/FX

Winter's Endgame On 'AHS: Cult' Is Unclear

There's only one guarantee when a new season of American Horror Story starts: things are gonna get really confusing for a few episodes (or a whole season), whatever Ryan Murphy is thinking that year. The premiere of AHS: Cult introduced viewers to its cast of characters, but two are particularly mysterious: Winter and Kai Anderson. The two were shown on election night, having different reactions to the results (to say the least) — but moments later, they pinky swore. What are they planning — is this the titular "cult" and does this indicate that Winter is working for Kai on AHS: Cult? There are a few clues about their relationship.

Let me backtrack and explain who these characters even are (well, from what I saw in the premiere, anyway). Kai Anderson, portrayed by longtime AHS veteran Evan Peters, is a textbook internet troll in real life. In my opinion, this is Peters' scariest role to date on the show. Kai is not a real person, but he embodies a very real way of thinking that some people out there have. When watching Trump win the presidency, he goes so far as to hump the television. It seems that he's not in it for the "Make America Great Again" values, but rather for the terror Trump tries to instill in people unlike himself. In the first episode, Kai tried to cause chaos both in the courtroom (by saying that minorities shouldn't be protected) and out (by throwing a condom full of urine at a group of men and recording the beating he took because of it to make the violence look unwarranted). Basically, he's horrible for the sake of being horrible.

Winter, however, does not have that same personality — outwardly, anyway. She was a Vassar student who dropped out to work for Clinton's campaign... and thus, was devastated on election night when her candidate lost. She talked on the phone to a fellow Clinton voter about how scared and unsafe she felt. Just then, Kai walked in (his face caked in Cheeto dust) and they pinky swore. What!? Turns out, Winter's last name is also Anderson. Again, what!? There has now made many viewers believe that Winter and Kai are indeed siblings. This is American Horror Story, though, so it may not be that simple.

Perhaps they are chosen siblings in the eponymous cult. Seeing as the show is setting up Kai to be the cult leader, this makes sense. Winter could have taken his name as part of his "family." This would also make her actions a bit confusing: why did she drop out of Vassar to work on the Clinton campaign? Was she trying to sabotage it from the inside out — but then, are there more Clinton volunteers in the cult who did the same thing?

According to show creator Ryan Murphy, the election is certainly the backdrop and catalyst for AHS: Cult, but it's not what the show is about. "Yes, the jumping-off point of the show is election night, and the characters have very strong points of view about Trump and Clinton, but it really is not about them," he told Variety. "It really is about the rise of a cult of personality that can rise in a divided society."

This makes sense when thinking about Kai as a cult leader and how he drew Winter in. Murphy also said that Peters will play a variety of real-life cult leaders in addition to the fictional Kai, like Charles Manson and Jim Jones. Winter may not be "working" for Kai, per se, but she's still part of his family — and doing all his bidding for free, then. Viewers will have to see how this creepy, probably unhealthy relationship unfolds.